Lee will bat cleanup in Braves debut

When the Braves acquired Derrek Lee Wednesday, I thought Braves manager Bobby Cox would flip-flop Brian McCann (vs. right-handers) and Derrek Lee (vs. left-handers) in the cleanup spot. 

So much for assuming. 

Lee will bat cleanup this afternoon when he faces his former Cubs teammates, who will be sending right-hander Ryan Dempster to the mound to oppose Jair Jurrjens.

Obviously it wasn’t enough to simply ask Lee to make his Braves debut less the 48-hours after he was forced to say goodbye to his Cubs teammates.  Facing Dempster for the first time in his career will simply stir the emotions of Atlanta’s new first baseman.

Dempster and Lee grew up together in the Marlins organization and were teammates in Florida through the early portion of the 2002 season.  They were reunited when they both joined the Cubs in 2004.  

There’s no doubt that Dempster shared a special bond with Lee, who has been beloved by his teammates throughout his career.  

Late last night I received a text from Mark Kotsay that simply read, “You’re going to love  my boy D. Lee.” 

I’m heading down to the clubhouse to meet Lee.  Check back in throughout the day for updates. 

TODAY’S LINEUP
Infante 4
Heyward 9
Prado 5
Lee 3
McCann 2
Gonzalez 6
Cabrera 7
Ankiel 8
Jurrjens 1

    

48 Comments

Honestly, that is as strong a line up as the Braves have had in years.

I just don’t think Heyward is right for the 2 spot. He needs to be more aggressive early in the count like he was in April. He always takes the first pitch down the middle for a strike then swings at off speed stuff out of the zone or on the corner. I would rather see him bat lower for awhile and take this lineup: Infante, Prado, Lee, McCann, Gonzalez, Heyward, Cabrera, Ankiel. Now that is a special lineup in my opinion.

Rother I agree but as I look ahead I think “IF ?” Glaus comes back hitting and can play 3rd then we could get rid on a weak outfield bat with Prado going to 2nd and Infante playing an outfield postion.

@tommy.. I have questions about the lineup too. Why Martin in the 3 spot? He has decent power but just doesnt seem to be a number 3 hitter to me. Why not bat Gonzalez number 3?

Nice looking lineup, but I HATE Jason batting #2. I have all season. He looks much better in the #6 spot in my opinion. He’s just not a scrappy slap hitter and he’s being wasted up at the top.

I wasn’t comment on the order as much as the overall talent level 1-8. The gimmies are pretty much gone now.

Heyward at 2 is like owning a Mustang Cobra in NYC, might as well just have a picture of it.

Question, how long before TP has Derrek Lee hitting down on the ball like the rest of them?
Question 2, do we really want Freddie Freeman up for a month of TP talk, or would we rather have him hit the ATL in door closer to when TP hits the out door? based on Heyward’s retarded development since the end of May, it is a legitimate question. Does he even turn on the ball in BP anymore?

Rother, Agree with you about Freddie, that might be a casualty we can avoid.
Jboy- The reason Prado is in the 3 hole is this. With a runner on 1st base he is batting .444. Gonzalez is hitting .231 in same situation. Quite simply, Prado moves the runners into scoring position. Omar- get em on, Prado- get em over, Lee,BMac- Get em in.

I like the Lee move, but I still think McCann should hit cleanup. At least change it up for rightys and leftys.

Billgluas – good analysis. Wouldn’t it be even better to flip flop Prado and Heyward? Heyward will get some pitches with Lee protecting him.

Is Farnsworth the new 800 pound gorilla in the room (weakness that no one is recognizing)? What is up with him?

Vs righties should go:
Infante 4
Prado 5
Heyward 9
Lee 3
McCann 2
Gonzalez 6
Melky 7

Vs Lefties:
Infante 4
Prado 5
Diaz 7
Lee 3
McCann 2
Gonzalez 6
Heyward 9
Melky 8

Ankiel 8

Wow what’s up with that post? Ankiel is in 8 in the first column, of course.

I think it is a concern when you go from ST this season, when Heyward is demolishing cars 450-500 feet from the plate, to August of the same year when he is chopping down on the ball hitting grounders and the occasional missile off the wall. That game winning single on Wednesday was a complete axe chop swing. He is going to literally kill a pitcher someday if they don’t level his swing off again. Mitch Williams on MLBTV ducks when just the replays of Heyward’s line drives are shown. He knows how scary they are as a pitcher. His comment on the game winner wasn’t about how clutch it was, it was how there was no way the pitcher could have ever gotten out of the way of that one.
Let’s stop TP from making special into average again and again for everyone he “helps” soon.

Ryan Howard hits accidental popup homers, and Heyward can hit the ball every bit as far as Howard can.
TP has Heyward hitting like his own “Mini Me”, and it’s got to stop for the Braves to take off in September.

Yeah, Heyward doesn’t need to bat #2. It’s like taking the teeth out of the lion’s mouth.
Anyone think that Prado takes Pendleton’s advice?

Boy, everyone used to give me a hard time for dumping on Pendleton. It’s nice to have all this company now.

I thought ‘get them over’ was number 2 hitters job and ‘get them in was number 3-5. I would still like to see Prado bat 2 and drop Heyward down a little.

WTF? Jurrjens squares and then pulls the bat back and hit’s into double play, Way to pick him up Omar.

The Crime Dog or John Olroud (spelling?) comes to mind but I agree with Rother on this one Dismuke is most likely candidate IMO.

need some runs

The Crime Dog or John Olroud (spelling?) comes to mind but I agree with Rother on this one Dismuke is most likely candidate IMO.

Bill, it was because for Pendleton’s negatives, there were (at the time) some pretty decent positives. Less so now.
Gonzalez was at fault there. Outfielders take precedence over infielders on fly balls.

Papi, as I have made the point before. the guys who were creating positive swings were guys who had never experienced slumps(Prado, Omar) which they needed to be coached out of or guys whose dad’s were there batting coaches as they always had been(chipper, BMac). It was always the guys who slumped went to Pendleton for some correction and he tried to revamp what had always worked for them(Kelly, McLouth, Heyward, Frenchy and Andruw). After they got messed up some recovered when they got away from TP, but for some they carried around all that noise in there head. You got to figure that a player has at least 14 years to refine his swing prior to arriving in the Majors, if you start tinkering with it you can really do some damage. I think Chippers comments on Monday were really telling. He feels like TP was giving Heyward some bad advice. I could see what was happening when I watched these guys swings morph into something that was not working. That’s why I was screaming with my hair on fire.

Boy Ankiel is fun to watch throw. It’s really refreshing after watching McLouth, who couldn’t throw out my grandmother, god rest her soul.

Interestingly enough, Bill, TP has been the hitting coach since the 2002 season. His first five years (02 to 06), it would be impossible to find much fault with him since those were good offensive teams (especially ’03… my goodness!). But then again, and likely to your point, those teams were made up of veterans from other places, not rookies that came up through the system.
Now, Prado and Infante can do well with a coach like Pendleton because they’re naturally closer to the type of hitter that Pendleton was throughout his career… gaps, opposite field, etc. But get him a young power hitter, and his track record blows.
I’ll ask you this too, since I don’t think I’ve ever seen you answer this (if memory serves). Who would you replace Pendleton with as hitting coach? (Chipper doesn’t count since he’s retired, lol) A MLB guy or someone from within the system?

Greg Norton. I just made bills day.

I like Don Baylor type hitting coaches personally. I’d also not mind seeing Jaime Dismuke from Gwinnett get a shot. He had Kelly Johnson humming in short order. If you look at their hitting stats month by month, Gwinnett seems to really pick it up as the season progressed. Freddie Freeman has made great progress. He wasn’t hitting .300 in June, he is now. A lot of the guys know him, and a lot of the guys trust him.

Hard question to answer, because a lot of the guys I would choose are currently tied up with other teams. I would say someone like Mark Grace but I think he only bleeds Cubbie Blue. Baylor was great here before, but all I’ve heard from him lately is grousing because he’s not getting managerial interviews. I think technically Rudy Jaramillo is probably the best in the business. If you assume Fredi is going to manage you want to give some thought as to who would complement his experience, I think Fredi will be a lot more of a hands on manager than Bobby was including working around the batting cage. I’ll think about it some more and comment later if some new ideas pop up.

Another guy who is hot right now is Brook Jacoby. He has Atlanta ties and worked with Rudy for 4 years, even subbing for him when he was ill. He sure has got Cincinatti banging the ball, with some young power hitters and even has Rolen banging again.

Who is Mickey Hatcher with these days? Torre didn’t keep him on in LA did he?

Chip Caray’s a bold one… “so let’s root root root for the Bravos…” LOL
Those are all good ideas.

Are they acting like they like Chip in Chicago again today? They sure were sick of his voice when he got shown the door for being too negative on the home team a few years back.

I bet they don’t let Dempster pitch to Heyward this inning.

Heyward needs to move out of the two hole. He’s either still hurt or cuaght upside down.

Hatcher is the hitting coach in Anaheim

“now let’s see if he’ll get a pitch he can drive.” Chip said as the count went to 3-2 on Heyward. He did. A fast ball belt high right down the middle. He pounded it right into the ground. Thanks TP.

The Crime Dog or John Olroud (spelling?) comes to mind but I agree with Rother on this one Dismuke is most likely candidate IMO.

Melky Cabrera = owned by a guy who had just walked 3 of the last 4. Great AB there…

God this team is gonna kill me.

OH MAN! Was that a thing of beauty!

Welcome to Atlanta Rick Ankiel!!!

And now, Cabrera owes Ankiel dinner for the whole weekend.

Most logical and most likely are two very different things.

Way to go Ankiel. We had to make it a little more dramatic

Heyward now grounds out 2.2 times as often as he hits a fly out. I’d fire TP for that stat alone. Good grief.

Today, Wagner could become the first Brave since 2004 to record 30 saves in one season (Smoltz). That stat really speaks to how inconsistent the closer spot has been for us since then… and how crucial Wagner’s been this year.

That is by far the highest ration on the team.

There are only two teams in this league you have to beat twice per night. Once in the first 8 innings, and once in the ninth. They are the Braves and the Phillies, and it is going to be an EPIC stretch run.

I’m almost done with trying to figure this team out. I mean, what are they doing? They had 5 hits today and scored 5 runs. The 9th inning show is nothing short of amazing, but god I hope the odds don’t start catching up with us. Well all I know for sure is this. I won’t turn off any broadcast in any game until the last strike of the last out of the last inning is thrown.

And rother, one thing I hope about next years hitting coach is this. I really hope he has the humility to go get whoever helped build Jason’s stroke and brings him in to help the kid get back to where he was. He started this spring with a near perfect swing and now he looks like he’s chopping weeds out there. He needs to go back to where he learned that and rebuild it from the ground up. Pendleton has him so screwed up right now, he is having to just guess at pitches and hope he runs into one.

check out McCanns face in background on Ankiels triple. Also,didn’t the Braves take off when Prado went to lead off?
Put him back at top of order.

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